Chris Farrell

Columnist | Your Money
Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Recent content from Chris Farrell

Can you care too much about your credit score?

The other week I was in Hudson, Wis., to do some reporting on financial literacy. While talking with some managers from the WESTconsin Credit Union, one of them mentioned that customers are working hard at saving more. He added that it's noticeable how much they care about their credit scores.

Updated: October 08, 2011, - 03:33 PM

In turbulence, avoid extremes of hope, fear

The past decade offers a critical lesson on managing our money: Steer clear of the extremes of pessimism and optimism.

Updated: October 01, 2011, - 04:18 PM

Downgrade aside, U.S. bonds are safe

QI have a daughter in college and another three years away. Given the U.S. government's recent downgrade from Standard & Poor's, how safe are savings bonds? What is the type of return one can expect and how is the interest accrued?

Updated: September 17, 2011, - 02:07 PM

Things to consider in hiring, firing financial planner

Q For 16 years, my wife and I entrusted an independent financial adviser to manage our mutual fund portfolio, which...

Updated: September 10, 2011, - 10:23 PM

'Emergency' nest egg can be key part of a plan

Ah, the State Fair. A Pronto Pup, chocolate chip cookies, and the DNR's fish pond all sampled before heading to the Star Tribune booth Tuesday afternoon to talk personal finance.

Updated: September 03, 2011, - 10:03 PM

Early mortgage payoff may not be best strategy

Here's a piece of news that comes under the "glass is half-full" headline: Households are reducing their debt burdens.

Updated: August 20, 2011, - 10:35 PM

Don't panic: This economic horror film will end

Summer is a time for blockbuster horror flicks, and the performance of the economy and markets surely provide the basis for a gory one. Prices on the global stock markets have plunged in recent weeks.

Updated: August 13, 2011, - 01:02 PM

Analyze risks, then make your decision

Q My husband and I are in our early and middle 50s. We have one child, a junior in college. I have been not working since September (unemployment plus a very part-time job).  

Updated: August 06, 2011, - 04:47 PM

In a severe crash, is a 'guaranteed' investment safe?

What's your opinion on the relative safety of guaranteed investment contracts. I know these are not FDIC insured. But compared to bonds or equities in the event of a catastrophic economic meltdown, would these contracts reflect a loss rate based on the failures of the underlying banks and insurance companies?

Updated: July 23, 2011, - 10:34 PM

Take care of downside risk with stash of cash

With Treasury bills and other high-quality short-term, interest-paying investments, you reduce the amount of money at risk to a financial catastrophe or economic cataclysm.

Updated: July 16, 2011, - 10:00 PM

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